Friday, April 29, 2016

'Tis the night before

We're home from setting up for the Frolic. We have mannequins to dress and price signs to put up in the morning.

I spent a few minutes talking with Bristol Ivy this afternoon. If you are taking a class with her over the weekend you are very lucky.

Now I need to finish my shawl. There are about 25 stitches to cast off and the ends to sew in. Then a good nights sleep before the big day.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ponchos are cool again

Finished just in time for the Frolic. Wannietta knit the poncho. I blocked it and sewed it together. This is backwards to how it normally goes. Wannietta had just finished the knitting when she drove down for a visit. To save on the shipping charges, she left it with me to finish.

Pattern: Churchmouse Yarns Twice Reversible Poncho (available in the store or on Ravelry)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Cloudgate - Midway

From Churchmouse
Our new Poncho design is truly 'twice reversible': both the fabric and the shape can be flipped. This stitch pattern has two 'right sides' -- versatile! We also added instructions for a nifty hybrid graft/seam for true reversibility. Wear your poncho point-in-front for relaxed 'boho' style or point-in-back for a little more polish. Options upon options!

This poncho shape doesn’t follow the usual conventions of sizing (bust/waist/hips)—it’s more about scale. We designed this poncho in two sizes so your result will be comfortable and flattering. The two keys to the fit are the neckline and the back/arm length. The width of the rectangle determines where it hits—we like just at the bent elbow, which is also just above the waist.
We chose Cloudgate for the chunky version of the poncho.
A springy bouncy bulky weight. With a 90% superwash merino wool 10% nylon fiber content, Cloudgate will feel luscious next to the skin but wear beautifully over time.
109m/120 yards on a 100gram skein

Churchmouse just sent out a newsletter with a remake of their Welted Cowl.
Our Welted Cowl transitions easily from late spring into summer (and fall!), and is warm and light at the same time. A two skein project, so it's quick, and alternates knitting and purling in the round - just the right amount of variation and mindless. A fun way to taste this new yarn!
Pattern: Welted Cowl (available in the store or on Ravelry)
Yarn: 2 balls Rowan Softyak DK
76% cotton, 15% yak and 9% nylon means Softyak DK has a stunning soft handle and is a perfect transeasonal yarn.
I think we are ready. All except for one box from Frabjous Fibers that is caught in customs. It won't be at the show but we'll have it early next week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Kidsilk Haze has been a staple of Rowan's yarn line for many, many years. Here are the best selling colours for 2016.
Our ever popular Kidsilk Haze is a beautiful and versatile fine yarn made from a blend of super kid mohair and silk.
I've heard it referred to as Kid Crack Haze. Once you've used it you can't stop.

Birch is knit with 3 balls of Kidsilk Haze. The pattern was originally published in Rowan #34 but now you can download it for free on Rowan's website.
The pattern is written for both a stockinette and garter version, your choice (the difference that even rows are either purled for stockinette or knitted for garter) and measures a generous 80" wide and 40" deep. Knit flat, starting from the long straight edge down to the point, this triangular shawl looks beautiful flowing free and open or gathered in close.

Now it's time for Survivor. I'm almost finished the shawl. It's going to be close.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4 Sleeps. Yikes!

Classic Elite's latest Web-Letter just arrived in my inbox. The Diagonal Summer Scarf looks great and is easy to knit.
We couldn't resist re-knitting this scarf pattern from two years ago in newer colors of Bella Lino. The colors blend so beautifully!

The simple, reversible scarf is easily customizable to whatever width and length you want. Work your scarf in one color or many – since all Bella Lino shades have a flax-colored base, contrasting colors will blend beautifully (the scarf shown uses four different colors). Or work more visible stripes in the tone-on-tone, almost solid colors of Fortuna, Bella Lino's sister yarn.
This is Cathy's scarf that is hanging in the store. I hope she forgets that I have it :)

58% Linen, 26% Viscose, 16% Cotton
5-5½ sts/inch on US 4-5 (3.5-3.75 mm) needle
164 yards/50 gram ball
hand wash cool, dry flat
17 striping shades

Bella Lino is a lightweight yarn that creates an airy fabric with long, harmonious stripes. Great for warmer weather, each of the shades in the summery palette has a linen-hued base.

The store is a mess but Cathy will straighten things out Friday afternoon after we leave for the show.

Here is the floor plan for the Frolic. We're in Kobayashi Hall, booth 10.

I've made it to the final colour on my shawl. It's knitting time. I might get it finished.

Monday, April 25, 2016

What month is it?

The NHL playoffs = lots of knitting time. And a game that goes into double overtime is great. Here is a much better picture of the shawl so far. I really need to get a friend at home who will model for me.
The knitting time has been cut a bit because I've been working on my tax return. It's almost done. Then power knitting for Saturday.

My goodness it is cold outside. I'm not sure what month it is. I'm looking at the Weather Network on my phone and it says -2 for tomorrow night. WHAT??? At least it looks like a nice weekend. There is nothing worse than packing/unpacking for a show in the rain.

The Jays are on and I need to get back to the taxes. I want to do another hours worth of work before the Chicago/St. Louis game starts.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Blue Nude

I was supposed to head to Toronto today to see the new yarns for fall. I didn't have a good nights sleep and wasn't up for the drive. Instead I spent the day at home making up kits and knitting.
Yay. I'm at the fourth colour. I don't think the shawl will be finished by Saturday but it will be at the show so that everyone can feel the awesome yarn.

There is a new colour coming from Zen Yarn Garden. This is a special colour and once it is sold we won't be able to get anymore. The yarn should be here mid - May.
The twenty fourth offering in our ART WALK Series features a painting by Pablo Picasso entitled "Blue Nude". From one medium to the next, artists express their use of colour. Inspired by our chosen art piece, our dyer has successfully captured the excitement and complexity of the painting.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), a twentieth century Grand Master who co-founded Cubism, was only 20 years old when his friend’s tragic death resulted in the subdued “Blue Nude. His “Blue Period” artworks, rendered in somber blues and greens, were part of an astounding 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures he produced in his lifetime. Hauntingly beautiful and exquisitely composed, “Blue Nude” is one of Picasso’s best-selling pieces, and a testament to his ability to express complex emotions with one simple shade. [quoted from]
We have it coming in Serenity Glitter Sock and Serenity Silk Single.
Serenity Glitter Sock: 80% Superwash Merino/10% Cashmere/10% Sparkling Nylon
3-Ply Fingering Weight | Approx. 400 yards (100 g)

Serenity Silk Single: 75% Superwash Merino/15% Cashmere/10% Silk
Single Ply Fingering Weight | Approx. 430 yards (100 g)
The skeins are $37 each. 

We have geese in the back yard and Melo loves to stand on the deck and talk to them. We've come to the realization that if the geese are around then the coyotes aren't.
Now back to my knitting. I'm flipping between hockey and baseball. It's been a great sports day.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

One Way Tee

Lynn came to work today wearing her One Way Tee. The pattern is from the Spring 2015 Interweave magazine. If you don't have the magazine at home you can purchase the pattern on Ravelry.
Even the simplest lace accent can make a sweater pop. The One Way Tee incorporates a simple arrowhead lace into body, sleeves, and shoulder saddles to create bold lines.
Sarah also knit the Tee. They both used Mrs. Crosby Carpet Bag - it was their Frolic sweater last year. It is great for layering. Wear in the summer with a tank underneath or in the winter with a long sleeved shirt.

This is my house right now. There are mini skeins from Dream in Color all over my kitchen.
I'm having fun putting together kits for the Technicolor Cowl. We have colours that we've never had before.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Toronto to Open Houses at two of my suppliers. It's always fun to see the yarns that will be coming out for fall. I should have lots of pictures to share when I get home.

Friday, April 22, 2016


There is a new pattern on Ravelry that caught my eye. It is called Descant and can be purchased on Ravelry.
Descant is the fifth voice in a traditional SATB choir. It’s a line typically higher than soprano voices, added for another layer of depth to a piece. This Descant is knit with five different colors of yarn, from the Lorna’s Laces String Quintet set.

Finished Size: 16” depth, 64” wingspan

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces String Quintet 535 yards String Quintet is composed of five 107-yard mini skeins of Shepherd Sock (80% Superwash merino wool/20% Nylon), 435 yards/100 grams; sample worked in “Trumpet” Colorway.

Needles: 40” circular needle, size 7 US (4.5mm), or size to obtain gauge.
I love it hate it love it when new patterns are released on Ravelry. Why hate it? Because I don't knit fast enough. Or maybe the problem is that I need sleep. If I could only knit from midnight to 4am everyday and still work. I love it because there are so many pattern options available now.

String Quintet kits come in amazing colours.

Sorry - you are going to hear lots about the Frolic for the next week. It's one of the biggest and best knitting shows in the area. I highly recommend you attend. Even if you aren't looking for more yarn the inspiration you will get is amazing. You will drive home and pull out a project to get it finished.
It's time to hit Publish and get back to work. Lynn and I are redressing mannequins. They have new summer clothes.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Toronto Knitters Frolic

Here is today's public service announcement. Don't knit while watching Survivor. You need to pay attention to the TV (especially when there is a blindside happening) which causes you to do crazy things with your knitting. There is a decrease at the center of every right side row on my shawl. I missed it twice. I tried to drop the stitches down but then I had loose stitches. YUCK. I pulled out the needle, ripped out 5 rows and started again. The moral of the story - I knit a lot last night but you didn't get very far. I'm hoping for better results tonight.

It's almost Frolic time. We will be in Kobayashi Hall - booth 10. The same corner as last year and the year before...

Saturday April 30

Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
6 Garamond Court
Toronto, ON M3C 1Z5
venue telephone (416) 441-2345

Here are some of my tips if this is your first time heading to the show.

- trust me, there is lots of yarn. If you don't like lines or crowds, wait until noon to come. There will still be lots for you to see. If booths sell out of something, most are more than willing to ship it to you after the show
- bring lunch with you. Then you don't have to stand in line.
- The Science Centre is very close to the Frolic. You can send your family for an outing and it will let you shop for a while.
- wear something that you have knit. It's always fun to see completed projects.
- if you see something you like, mark down the booth you saw it in. I can't tell you how many times we get frantic people at the end of the day because they forgot where they saw something
- go through your Ravelry library and make notes of yarn that you are interested in. If there is a certain pattern, print that pattern and bring it with you. Also bring information on the yarn. What it's made of. Tension. Yardage. That will make it easier for me and other booths to help you substitute. When you come in the store I can do it on the computer but we have limited Internet access at the show.
- please have patience.
- the Frolic isn't just for knitters. It is put on by a knitting guild - hence the name. Crocheters please come to the show. There is lots of fabulous yarns that you and your hooks will have fun working with.

If you have questions about the Frolic, here is their FAQ page.

If you haven't been to the Frolic - here are some pictures from last year's booth. We hope this will inspire you to get into the car and go for a drive next Saturday. You won't believe the yarn, needles, knitting bags, yarn bowls, kits and finished garments that you will see. It's also great walking around and seeing what everyone is wearing. Knitters are friendly people. If you see something you like, ask the person about the pattern. We like to brag about what we knit. 

Now I need to switch computers and finish my tax return. Talk about putting someone in a bad mood.